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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Mon, 09/11/2017 - 12:17pm

Event date:

Saturday, September 2, 2017 - 8:30am 



Hello to All,

For the past few weeks, it has crossed my mind that the highlights of our Bird Walk, begins and ends at the south side of the Museum of Science and Industry. One week, we discovered the successful brood of Green Herons, with four offspring.  Then there were the Phoebes and Pewees in the same shrub.  And this week, we discovered a group of four Eastern Bluebirds!

Warbler and thrush migration has been skimpy. 

We don’t often see American Kestrels, but today we had three. The big falcon, the Peregrine, gets all the glory, but this littlest of falcons is by far the most colorful, compared to the monochromic Peregrine. 

BIRDERS:      11        (1) Jennie S., (2) Hal C., (3) Bruce McC., (4) Marian N., (5) Gary M., (6) Dan L., (7) Eric G., (8) Erica D., (9) Otha M., (10) Karin D., (11) Pat D.

TIME:             8:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.         

PLACES:        Wooded Island, Lagoons, Bobolink Meadow & Soccer Field

DISTANCE:    Two miles

WEATHER:    Sunny. Temperature 62 – 72 F. With no wind, and in the sun, it felt like the temperature was in the 70”s F., Officially, the wind was 0 – 5 from the ENE.


  1. Canada Goose  36     Groups of 6 to 10 flew overhead. Others seen in the lagoons.

  2. Wood Duck  2

  3. Mallard  24

  4. Double-crested Cormorant  4

  5. Great Blue Heron  1

  6. Green Heron  6

  7. Black-crowned Night-Heron  1

  8. Cooper's Hawk  2     The first sighting was near the Museum.  The second sighting was of a hawk perched at the south end, across from Wooded Island.  This is a favorite hidden spot for the Cooper's Hawk.  He hunts along the shoreline.

  9. Ring-billed Gull  3

  10. Chimney Swift  100     Large numbers flying low over the south end of the east lagoon at 8 a.m. Vanished by 10 a.m.

  11. Ruby-throated Hummingbird  2

  12. Belted Kingfisher  1

  13. Downy Woodpecker  4

  14. Hairy Woodpecker  1     Reported by Jennie S. & Hal C. at the south end of Bobolink Meadow.

  15. Northern Flicker  1     A champion fighter with a kestrel.  It was not backing off and repeatedly engaged in aerial combat with the little but mighty falcon.

  16. American Kestrel  3     The first was seen flying around the Museum.  A crow held the falcon in check on the top of a dome, until reinforcements arrived to chase the falcon off the dome. A duo was spotted on the soccer goal crossbar, and later on the fence.  One kestrel jostled with a Northern Flicker for a long time, while birders risked sun stroke in the baking rays. It was quite a show.  Kestrel numbers have declined.  Their predator is the Cooper's Hawk.  Hope their paths did not cross.  Kestrels are the most colorful falcon.

  17. Eastern Phoebe  5

  18. Eastern Kingbird  1     Reported by Eric G

  19. Warbling Vireo  2

  20. American Crow  2

  21. Barn Swallow  6     Bug hunting over the soccer field.

  22. White-breasted Nuthatch  1     SE end of Wooded Island.

  23. House Wren  1     Reported by Dan L.

  24. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1

  25. Eastern Bluebird  4     Juveniles along the south end of Museum. At one point all four were in the same tree.  Departed southward.

  26. Swainson's Thrush  1     Dan L took a photo.

  27. American Robin  17     A dozen played in a puddle at the SE corner of the soccer field, at the turn in the fence.

  28. Gray Catbird  3

  29. European Starling  12     Eric G. saw a group in the Willow Tree near the SE corner of the soccer field that were chased away by a mighty Eastern Kingbird.

  30. Cedar Waxwing  5

  31. Magnolia Warbler  1     Center path on Wooded Island.

  32. Yellow Warbler  1     Wooded Island reported by Hal C.

  33. Wilson's Warbler  1     Center path on Wooded Island, nearer to the north end.

  34. Song Sparrow  1     Reported by Eric G

  35. Northern Cardinal  7

  36. Indigo Bunting  1     Reported to Eric G. by Peter K.

  37. American Goldfinch  4


This is a group report, with many birders contributing to the list. Most of the birds were seen by at least several or all of the birders.

Corrections, additions and comments are welcome.

Recordings are not used to attract birds.

This report will be documented on eBird as a group report for the Wooded Island Bird Walks.

The Walks are free and open to one and all. They are held year round. Newcomers are warmly welcomed. 

Darrow Bridge: Darrow Bridge has been barricaded by the Department of Transportation. A high black metal iron fence has been erected on all four sides. The fence will remain in place until Darrow Bridge is completely rebuilt, which could be several years away. The Bridge has been deemed unsafe.

Saturday morning walks: Start at 8:00 a.m. covers a distance of two miles.  Birders walk counterclockwise around the Columbia Basin (North Lagoon) onto Wooded Island. Exiting Wooded Island at the south end, the birders walk along the soccer field and enter the south end of Bobolink Meadow. The Meadow’s path leads to the Music Bridge and back to the East Parking Lot. In late fall, winter and early spring, the birders check for birds on the lakefront and Outer Harbor near LaRabida Hospital, and the Inner Harbor.

Metered parking is available in the East Parking Lot that is accessible from South Lake Shore Drive. There is a Stop Light at 57th Street Science DriveThis Stop Light is approximately 200 yards south of the major intersection with signs for Museum of Science and Industry. Make a turn at the Science Drive Stop Light towards the Museum. Turn Left (south) at the intersection of Science Drive and Columbia Drive. Go through the parking lot to the west end.

Birders meet in the southwest corner of the East Parking Lot.

Parking and Lots: While restoration is ongoing, heavy equipment has taken over half of the east parking lot, off of South Lake Shore Drive, and half of the southwest parking lot which has an entrance off of Hayes Drive (63rd St.) and just east of Cornell Drive. Birders will be able to find metered parking in both lots. The East Parking Lot is preferred. There is also unmetered parking along Stony Island Avenue from 56th to 59thStreet.

Best of Birding to All,                    

Patricia Durkin

Earlier Event: August 19
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: September 9
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report